The European Commission has announced it is launching a public consultation on how to effectively use the 700 MHz spectrum band in the coming decades. Specifically the Commission is seeking to gain input into the options proposed by Pascal Lamy in his September 2014 report.
Currently the 700 MH spectrum band, known as the Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) band is mostly used for broadcasting and wireless microphones, with the broadband and telecoms sectors keen to secure the future use of this highly sought-after band for deploying new wireless and digital services.
The report by former Commissioner Pascal Lamy on how to use the UHF spectrum proposes two options of long-term 700 MHz spectrum band management.
Under the first proposal the 700 MHz spectrum band is to be used for wireless broadband across the EU in a 2020-2030-2025 formula. This means that UHF should be dedicated to wireless broadband across Europe by 2020 (+/- two years), with R+regulatory security and stability for terrestrial broadcasters in the remaining UHF spectrum below 700 MHz to be safeguarded until 2030. A review by 2025 to assess technology and market developments.
The second, so-called ‘flexibility’ option would see downlink-only wireless broadband use of UHF broadcasting spectrum in the 470-694 MHz ban. Thereby, broadcasting use would always have priority, while specific channels or locations not used for terrestrial broadcasting could become available for downlink-only wireless broadband applications depending on national circumstances.
The consultation is to run until 12 April 2015.